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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1044892-Move-Toward-the-North-Star
Rated: 18+ · Book · Music · #2231553
Fictitious and delicious!
#1044892 added February 15, 2023 at 8:14pm
Restrictions: None
Move Toward the North Star
Recent rains brought green vibrancy back to the arboretum grounds, countering a brief but hot dry spell in much of Minnesota. To Dana and Quinn, this was the perfect weather to really introduce Morgan to Minnesota. Sure, he had visited before, he was in the state for at most a week. This trip would be part vacation, part scoping out the digital creation scene to see what Morgan's options were.

His initial visits focused on spending time with Dana, but more recent trips involved hanging out with Quinn as well. Once the three of them realized how well everyone got along, the conversations began about Morgan moving to Minnesota. While he had been looking to get out of Dallas for some time, the built-in network of creators had made him hesitant to leave. On the other hand, an increasing amount of his free time was spent visiting Dana in person. His wallet hurt almost as much as his heart did when he got on the plane back to Dallas. When he admitted this to a few people down in Texas, he was surprised at their encouragement to at least look into moving.

The three of them had settled into something of a routine in the first week of Morgan's visit. While Dana and Quinn worked, Morgan divided his time between doing some research for his videos and scoping out the creator space. The video space was not super mainstream and a bit more family oriented. However, Morgan did find a thriving gaming scene that provided unique insight on crypto scams that had reach beyond the typical crypto audience of young white men. Morgan also discovered that Minnesota was also represented in Congress by crypto supporters and tech-focused heavyweights, which was a true surprise. In the evenings, he'd go over to Dana and Quinn's place for dinner.

One of those dinnertime conversations resulted in the three of them making plans to visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. While Morgan did not consider himself a super outdoorsy or gardening type, he knew Dana spent a good amount of time there. As much as he wanted to check out the local art scene in great detail (especially the sculptures), he went along for the ride. Then again, Dana did tell him there was a sculpture garden on the property. It took a significant amount of effort on Dana's part to not burst into a shit-eating grin when Morgan jumped at the chance to see sculptures, but she managed.

So far, the trip had stuck to exploring the main gardens closest to the visitor's center and then work their way further out in the grounds. A walk along the beginning of the driving path Dana and Quinn insisted on calling Three Mile Island brought them to a shaded spot, a change that made Morgan sigh with relief. The summertime humidity in Minnesota had thrown him for a loop. Thus, any opportunity to enjoy the shade was welcomed. They stopped by a pond with a medium sized waterfall in the back. All of them took an opportunity to sip some water before checking out the pond.

"So where exactly is the sculpture garden?" Morgan asked. "I feel like I've already walked forever in these first few gardens."

Dana chuckled. "It's about halfway down Three Mile Island. I promise we can take the car and drive there even if there is a three mile walking trail available."

"Now, now. I do get in my share of cardio."

"Yes, indoors. Mostly. Because running outside in Texas most seasons is a great way to collapse of heat stroke."

"True."

"To be fair, there are some days in Minnesota that are like that. I remember 2018 running a race down in Mountain Lake. It was pushing 90 degrees in the middle of June, and the heat index was in the triple digits. I actually set a personal course best in that race, but one woman running the four mile race made it maybe a foot past the finish line before falling over. She was running all weirdly toward the end just trying to stay standing in the heat."

"Yikes! After hearing that, some vehicle A/C sounds like a plan."

"I figured as much."

The two of them looked over at Quinn, who was busy checking the pond.

"See anything?" Dana asked.

"I saw a couple koi swim by just a minute ago," he replied.

"Did it try to eat any leaves or pine needles?"

Morgan snorted and giggled, prompting Quinn to glance over at him in amusement.

"Not that I could see," Quinn said after a bit.

"Do the fish actually eat leaves and pine needles>" Morgan jumped in.

"Sometimes," Dana replied. "I've seen it a couple times in the fall. Maybe the current batch isn't tasty enough for them right now."

"I can't imagine koi being that picky," Quinn pushed back. "After all, they like anything that's edible."

"This is true."

Morgan cocked his head at the others. "What are you two goin' on about over there?"

"Fish," Dana told him with a smirk.

"I figured that much out."

At that, Dana stuck out her tongue for a second. "I think Quinn is referring to the koi he and I saw in Ashton Gardens back in 2020. Is that right?"

Quinn nodded. "Yeah, those guys put on quite a show."

"What do you mean?" Morgan asked.

"Words won't do this justice," Dana began, "but I'll give it a shot. When we visited Ashton Gardens, they asked if we wanted to buy a bag of fish food for a dollar. They hinted that it would be an experience, but we decided against it. When we got to the koi pond a little later, we saw some people there feeding the fish. The fist were actually sticking their heads out of the water."

"Oh my God!"

"Oh, and that's not all. When we get there, we find that some of the previous visitors had dropped a bunch of food on the bridge over the pond. We saw the fish hovering near the bridge but not really sticking their heads up. When we starting throwing the food into the water, they started leaping up against, sometimes bodyslamming into each other."

Morgan laughed. "That sounds amazing!"

"Amazing and yet a little freaky at the same time. Frankly, I'm glad these guys are a little less active."

At that, Dana looked down at the water. She spotted a couple solid koi swim past each other not far from where the trio stood.

"I might have to see this for myself someday."

"We've talked about going back to Salt Lake City at some point," Quinn mentioned. "Maybe in the spring because Dana actually overheated during our visit."

"When did you visit in 2020?"

"July."

"Oh, that would definitely do it!"

Dana nodded while still looking at the pond. "Haterade saved my ass there. I kept drinking water but felt nauseated with every sip. I needed sodium. Speaking of which, Quinn, mind passing me the white cherry bottle."

"Oh sure," Quinn replied before taking off his backpack to get to the drinks stored inside.

As Dana and Quinn sorted out the drink situation, Morgan took a moment to see if he could find any fish. He found three floating up to the surface, their mouths opened in expansive O shapes. None of them ate any leaves or other plant matter that hung out on the surface of the pond. Even without that entertainment, Morgan found himself smiling at the sight of the fish retreating from their surfacing and swimming off together to explore the full reaches of the pond.




Feeding Frenzy

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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1044892-Move-Toward-the-North-Star